A Promising Time for New HGV Drivers
Life on the road can be an adventure – even as a trucker. However, we’ve seen a decline in the number of truckers over the years; this leaving a door wide open for a new generation of drivers to enter into an industry full of opportunities.
With negative stereotypes from the media, the trucker lifestyle has often been touted as unglamorous and lonely. Granted, it’s a lifestyle that requires a lot of hard graft, concentration and long hours, but it’s an essential role which appeals to many, and often the perks are overlooked. Alongside a real sense of comradery amongst fellow drivers, there are also many opportunities and roles which haven’t yet been brought into the mainstream light, that can hold great benefits for those who take them. This year, we expect there to be more focus on driving improvement in this industry than ever before.
The times are a-changin’
Although trucking has been predominantly male-dominated in the past, in recent years there has been a steady growth of women joining the truck driving profession. This is excellent news and hopefully, this stable increase will encourage a wider demographic to consider trucking as a career path and lay those unfair aforementioned stereotypes to rest.
In terms of addressing another concern, thanks to all of the talk about self-driving cars, along with the release of Tesla’s largest creation yet, their fully electric truck, potential drivers may feel insecure about their position in the industry. While this is understandable, it has to be considered that the possibility of fully autonomous, unpiloted cars and trucks is in the far, far future and isn’t something to be overly concerned about at present. It’s also worth keeping in mind that the topic of automation, machinery and robots replacing humans in the workplace is a far-reaching one, choose which profession you opt for.
Even though there have been several horror stories in the media regarding poor pay for truckers, a few bad apples shouldn’t taint an industry. On the whole, logistics companies, like many others, put their employees’ welfare first, and make every effort to ensure good pay and satisfactory working conditions. In fact, due to recent economic changes, haulage companies may be willing to pay higher wages to new drivers so as to further incentivise this career path and to meet the demand of the industry. The wage increase may mean that even newly qualified HGV drivers could expect to earn over £25,000 a year.
Arguably, being a truck driver is not just a job. It’s a lifestyle. Some drivers simply love being on the go and enjoy the challenge of long haul. Others like to travel and soak up the sights when the job takes them to the far reaches of Great Britain or even overseas. They revel in a daily change of scenery and generally prefer the flexibility of life on the road, as opposed to being tied into a 9 to 5 office job.
Although the long journeys may get lonely at times, as you make your way from stop to stop you’re likely to meet some friendly characters en route. There is a real sense of community amongst truckers around the world, and many drivers take a huge amount of pride in their profession and, of course, their vehicles.
Drivers in the UK
The trucking industry in the UK currently relies heavily on European drivers, however, the new immigration laws triggered by Brexit may soon cause a shortage of drivers in Britain. For this reason, the industry is looking to hire new drivers from the UK now more than ever. While this is a sad loss of EU drivers, it is a fantastic opportunity for aspiring drivers in the UK, where newly qualified drivers can expect to earn a good starting salary. Finally, with the Autumn Statement, there has been a freeze on fuel duty and an investment of over £1 billion into the infrastructure.